How to spend two days in Budva

Located in the coastal area around Budva, the Budva Riviera is a popular tourist destination in Montenegro due to its well-preserved medieval walled city, sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife. The Budva region experiences a typical Mediterranean climate characterised by mild winters with abundant rain and dry spring, summer and autumn seasons. The coastline of Budva stretches for 25 kilometres and features 17 sandy and pebble beaches. Budva is shielded from strong northern winds by a striking mountain range. Take a look at my suggested two-day Budva itinerary, but let me start with a short history of the city.34 mogren thesanetravel.comP1397653

Short history of Budva

With 2,500 years of history, Budva is one of the oldest settlements along the Adriatic coast. The arrival of the Venetian Republic in the 15th century marked a significant period in Budva's history, lasting approximately 400 years. The Venetians recognised the city's strategic importance and expanded its fortifications, including the iconic walls surrounding the old town. Their influence is still visible in the elegant Budva palaces, churches and squares that define the cityscape. Following the fall of the Republic of Venice in 1797, Budva came under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy until the end of World War I, when it became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During the Yugoslav era, the town evolved into a prominent tourist destination. Since 2006, Budva has been a part of the independent Republic of Montenegro.

Day 1.  Walk Budva beaches and wander around Budva Old Town

Sveti Stefan

Begin your day by catching a bus to Sveti Stefan, approximately 10 kilometres from the city centre of Budva. If you have ever seen pictures of Montenegro, chances are one of them included the picturesque Sveti Stefan Island. Originally a 15th-century fortified fishing village, Sveti Stefan has now become a popular tourist destination. 10 sveti stefan thesanetravel.comP1397278Situated on a small island connected to the mainland by a causeway, the island was named after St Stephen, a Christian martyr. Over time, the village was turned into a fortified town with walls and towers. In the 19th century, it became a favoured summer retreat for the affluent elite of Montenegro and neighbouring countries. The town saw the construction of numerous luxurious villas, mansions, high-end restaurants, cafes and shops. However, during World War II, Sveti Stefan suffered extensive damage. Following the war, the town was neglected and fell into disrepair until the 1950s, when the Yugoslav government took over the island and transformed it into a luxurious resort destination for the rich and famous.11 sveti stefan thesanetravel.comP1397282 In 2007, the Montenegrin government decided to lease the entire hotel town, along with Milocer Villa and the former Hotel Kraljicina Plaza, for several decades. Sveti Stefan was closed during the pandemic and remained so the following year due to increased tensions with residents who were against new construction projects and demanded that the beaches be opened. Adriatic Properties then took legal action against the newly elected Montenegrin government in a lawsuit worth millions of euros. During my visit in May 2024, the hotel and Sveti Stefan Island were closed, with no indication of when they would reopen.12 sveti stefan thesanetravel.comP1397287

After observing Sveti Stefan from afar and possibly enjoying a swim at Sveti Stefan Beach, consider walking the path that links Sveti Stefan to the picturesque village of Przno. 13 sveti stefan thesanetravel.comP139729115 sveti stefan thesanetravel.comP1397299This path runs along the coast and offers beautiful vistas of the sea and rocky cliffs. It spans approximately 2 kilometres and should take around half an hour to complete without any interruptions. 16 sveti stefan thesanetravel.comP1397303However, you may be tempted to pause and visit Queen's Beach along the way.

Queen´s Beach

Queen's Beach, also known as Kraljicina Plaza, is a stunning beach on the Adriatic Sea named after Queen Marija Karadordevic. This stunning beach is famous for its pristine natural beauty, clear waters and soft sand. Visitors can enjoy a pleasant and serene atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Although it was previously a private beach, it is now open to the public. 20 queens beach thesanetravel.comP139731921 queens beach thesanetravel.comP1397333After enjoying the beauty of Queen's Beach, visitors can continue their journey to the nearby Przno fishing village and Przno Beach.

Przno Beach

Przno Beach, also known as Przno Plaza, is in a quaint Mediterranean fishing village. The village is part of the Budva Riviera and has a peaceful and traditional atmosphere. 25 przno beach thesanetravel.comP139734126 przno beach thesanetravel.comP1397357Artisan fishing boats can still be seen in the bay, which protects from the wind and waves. The 350-metre-long beach features beach showers, sun loungers, beach bars and restaurants. Half of the beach is reserved for guests of Maestral Resort & Casino.28 przno beach thesanetravel.comP1397383

Lunch at Tavern More

Tavern More is situated in a 500-year-old house on the beach, featuring old stone arches that exude a Mediterranean atmosphere. The interior of the tavern also reflects this vibe. It is a great spot for those who enjoy the sea and delicious cuisine. 30 more thesanetravel.comP1397374The tavern offers mouth-watering dishes, including grilled fresh fish, mixed seafood, octopus and fish stew made with local ingredients such as olive oil, cheese, ham and olives. 32 more thesanetravel.com20240527 165831There is also a wide selection of domestic and international wines to complement your meal, as well as options for vegetarians. 31 more thesanetravel.com20240527 163749The tavern offers both indoor and outdoor dining, with the terrace accommodating 50 people. Additionally, there is a spacious apartment available for rent. After your meal, head back to Budva by bus and visit the famous Ballerina statue.

Ballerina statue

The Budva Ballerina, also known as the Budva Dancing Girl statue, is a bronze sculpture depicting a ballerina in a graceful pose. The statue has become a symbol of Budva and is a popular attraction located on the shoreline of Mogren Beach with the crystal blue sea in the background, making it an ideal spot for a photo shoot. Legend has it that sculptor Gradimir Aleksich created the sculpture after drawing inspiration from local tales of lost love and heartbreak. Regardless of the story you want to believe, seeing this ballerina by the Adriatic Sea is a must-see experience before continuing to Mogren Beach.33 mogren thesanetravel.comP1397691

Mogren Beach

Mogren Beach is a popular destination in Budva, consisting of two sections linked by a small tunnel. Easily accessed via a walking path from Budva Old Town, the beach offers stunning views of both the historic town and the sea. 35 mogren thesanetravel.comP139765037 mogren thesanetravel.comP139765638 mogren thesanetravel.comP139766039 mogren thesanetravel.comP1397665After enjoying your time at the beach, make your way back to the old town.

Budva Old Town

Budva Old Town is situated on a peninsula in the city centre, featuring narrow cobblestone streets, alleys and charming squares. 41 mogren thesanetravel.comP139771949 budva thesanetravel.comP139744644 budva thesanetravel.comP1397639The Budva Citadel, located in the southern part of the old town, dates back to the 15th century and now houses the Maritime Museum of Budva, which includes a library and various dining options. The Church of St John, also known as the Church of Sveti Ivan, was originally built in the 7th century and is now one of the most prominent landmarks in Budva. The church, which boasts a mix of Romanesque, Byzantine and Gothic architectural styles, was mainly reconstructed in the 15th century. Its interior is adorned with colourful frescoes and ancient icons such as the 18th-century Madonna in Punta. The bell tower adjacent to the church serves as a recognisable feature in the old town, making it a popular spot for photos.54 budva thesanetravel.com20240527 195426

Day 2

Day trip to Lake Skadar

Lake Skadar, located on the border of Montenegro and Albania, is the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula. It covers a surface area of 530 square kilometres, with a maximum length of 44 km and a maximum width of 14 km. Designated as a national park in 1983, Lake Skadar is home to stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. The park covers an area of 40,000 ha, making it one of the largest national parks in Montenegro. With its reflective waters, rocky shores and wetlands, the lake is a haven for over 260 species of birds, including the largest population of pelicans in Europe. Additionally, the lake is home to various other bird species, such as snipes, ducks, cormorants, gulls and pheasants. Lake Skadar features historic fishing communities, island monasteries and pristine shorelines. The area is known for its high-quality wines and organic food grown by farmers in the Crmnica and Godinje valleys.

Virpazar is a small town on Lake Skadar, serving as a popular starting point for various boat tours. Visitors who arrive independently have a range of tour options to choose from. 64 skadarr thesanetravel.comP139750365 skadarr thesanetravel.comP139750666 skadarr thesanetravel.comP1397511Some boat tours may include visits to churches built by the Balsici family, the ancient rulers of Montenegro, and a stop at Murici Beach, where tourists can swim in the lake, relax under century-old trees and enjoy a meal.

I researched the options for public transportation from Budva to Virpazar and was informed by a ticket agent at the Budva bus station that there is no direct bus route. Instead, I would need to transfer from a bus to a train at Podgorica, resulting in a longer journey of almost 100 kilometres and over 2 hours each way. To save time, I booked an organised tour from Budva. The bus tour with approximately 40 participants was operated by the travel agency Gardasevic. 59 skadarr thesanetravel.comP1397482Our first stop was at the visitor centre, where we learned about Lake Skadar and its national park. 60 skadfar thesanetravel.com20240528 11094661 skadarr thesanetravel.comP1397489We also had the opportunity to visit a local wine shop nearby. 62 skadarr thesanetravel.comP1397493We then proceeded to Virpazar for a boat tour of the lake. I was somewhat disappointed with the tour as the boat could not navigate through narrow waterways for a closer exploration of the lake's flora and fauna. We cruised on the open waters of the lake, stopping at Grmozur Island, a former prison, for a short swim. 66 skadarr thesanetravel.comP139756068 skadarr thesanetravel.comP139752969 skadarr thesanetravel.comP139754671 skadarr thesanetravel.comP139757872 skadarr thesanetravel.comP1397586Afterwards, we returned to Virpazar for lunch and made a stop at a scenic viewpoint overlooking the lake before heading back to Budva.74 skadfar thesanetravel.com20240528 161230

Practical tip: If possible, visit Virpazar independently and choose a boat tour that best suits your preferences from the various options available. If you have the time, consider staying overnight near the lake to allow for more exploration, including hiking.

Where to stay

Hotel Villa Gracia

The small 4-star Hotel Villa Gracia is conveniently situated in the city centre of Budva, at 5 Nikola Tesla Street. This location is ideal for those looking to be near the main city attractions and events while still enjoying a peaceful environment. 79 hotel thesanetravel.com20240527 124446The hotel is less than a 5-minute walk from the nearest beach and within a 10-minute walk from the old town. Villa Gracia offers modern and elegant accommodations with amenities such as private parking and free Wi-Fi. The interior and furnishings are of premium quality, ensuring maximum comfort for guests. 80 hotel thesanetravel.com20240527 12084581 hotel thesanetravel.com20240527 120917The rooms feature 100% cotton towels and bedclothes, hypoallergenic pillows, blankets and mattresses, as well as amenities such as cable TV, air conditioning, floor heating in the bathroom, bath toiletries, hair dryer, kettle, refrigerator and safety lock.

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What did you think? Have you visited Budva? I would love to hear from you, so please add your comment below.

  • Published by Anita on July 05, 2024
  • Author: Anita Sane

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
    travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.


    Thanks for the info, there was so much interesting info that I will in future travels to the area. Tavern More lunch looked wonderful. Food is one of the things that draws me to travel.
    Budva looks like a beautiful destination in Montenegro. Sveti Stefan is definitely on the list of spots to see when there.
    We definitely would want to visit the Budva area when we finally get to Montenegro. Starting our visit to see the iconic Sveti Stefan sounds perfect. But we will need a few days to explore all the great looking beaches. I do love the view of the cliffs. The fresh seafood would keep us for sure. Good to know we can explore the old town and take day trips for a different view of the area. We might need more than two days in Budva!
    Christine K
    Montenegro has been on my list but I was not aware of Budva. Thanks for this guide, the pics are stunning.

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